Blind Football: Argentina Defeats Chile, Takes Home Bronze

The Chilean team showcased their skill and defeated Team ParaChile by 2-0.

Saturday, November 25th, 2023.- The blind football tournament crowned the Argentine national team with the bronze medal, as they defeated Chile 2-0 this afternoon at the Paralympic Sports Center of the National Stadium. 

Despite the desire and, at times, a more combative than technical game, Team ParaChile couldn't overcome the Argentine quintet, which, showing off its greater experience, won the match and the bronze medal. 

The standout player of the match and, incidentally, the top scorer for the Argentine team, was Maximiliano Espinillo. Blind since the age of four, he reached the highest levels in Paralympics and World Championships. In Santiago 2023, he scored the winning goal in an exciting match against Brazil, giving them the chance to compete for bronze against Chile. 

As a child, Maximiliano attended the institute for the blind in his hometown of Córdoba. He played soccer all day, hence his practice and skill. Currently, he defends the colors of Los Búhos in Santa Fe, where he resides. With the Argentine national team, popularly known as Los Murciélagos (The Bats), he won bronze at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and silver in Tokyo 2020. In Lima 2019, they couldn't overcome Brazil, finishing in second place, and this year, they were crowned champions at the World Championships in Birmingham, United Kingdom. 

It's worth noting that blind football is a dynamic discipline for athletes with visual impairments. It is played with a sound-emitting ball, and two teams of 5 players each participate. Field players wear patches and goggles and receive instructions from the goalkeeper and coach. 

Written by Ernesto Bustos B. – Patricio Cabello; translated by Paulette Bertín / Santiago 2023 vía Photosport
Photo by Javier Valdés / Santiago 2023 vía Photosport